NYT praises Vietnam’s Con Dao islands a “tropical paradise”

New York Times, one of the most prominent newspapers in the US praised Con Dao in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, a rising star on Vietnam’s tourism map, as a “tropical paradise with a terrible past” and listed it among 52 most lovable places for the year of 2021.
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Photo: Inside Vietnam.Travel.

The paper typically releases an annual list of 52 best travel destinations. However, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, it termed this year’s version "52 places to love in 2021" and instead of using recommendations from travel writers, asked readers to write about a place of special significance, according to Vnexpress.

From a list of more than 2,000 suggestions, The New York Times compiled the final list of 52 destinations.

Thang Dac Luong, a lawyer and a writer in Sydney, chose Vietnam’s Con Dao "as a place of special significance." He said his journalist father was once imprisoned on Con Dao from 1961 - 1963, the Vietnam Wartime.

"I spent three days on Con Dao. I visited a cemetery, where relatives of those who had died or suffered in prison could bring offerings. There’s also a marine conservatory, where baby turtles are raised."

"On the last day, as I swam in the warm, turquoise water, I burst into tears. It’s important to have places where we can remember those we’ve lost. Someday, I’d like to take my children there so they could learn more about their grandfather," The New York Times quoted Luong as saying.

Located about 179km from Vung Tau, the island district of Con Dao has a total area of 72,71km2. In which, Con Dao is the largest island, 51.52km square with nearly 10,000 inhabitants.

Only in the first 9 months of 2019 - the year the world has not yet been raged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Con Dao has welcomed 332,083 visitors, an increase of more than 40%. That shows the charm of Vietnam’s masterpiece island.

52 places to love in 2021 picked by New York Times:

1. South Wales

2. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, USA

3. Kaliya Dhrow, India

4. Isfahan, Iran

5. Llanos, Colombia

6. Siwa Oasis, Egypt

7. "Golden Triangle" Montana, USA

8. Camino de Santiago, Spain

9. Malpaís, Costa Rica

10. Dakar, Senegal

11. St. James the Less, London, England

12. Medina of Marrakesh, Morocco

13. Nanda Devi Mountain, India

14. Laugavegur trail, Iceland

15. Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

16. Aruba Island, Netherlands

17. Kaohsiung, Taiwan

18. The Scottish highlands

19. Lake Michigan, USA

20. Niansogoni, Burkina Faso

21. Asunción, Paraguay

22. Parks south of England

23. Beirut, Lebanon

24. Siberia, Russia

25. Andros, Greece

26. Romania

27. East Haddam, Connecticut, USA

28. Yarra Ranges National Park, Australia

29. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA

30. Huanchaco, Peru

31. Jimmy Beach, New South Wales, Australia

32. University of Cambridge, UK

33. Lahore, Pakistan

34. Svalbard, Norway

35. Alberta, Canada

36. Santa Rosa, California, USA

37. Haiti

38. Ladakh, India

39. Hokkaido, Japan

40. The Hudson River, New York, USA

41. Northern Arkansas, USA

42. Tagaytay, Philippines

43. Milford Sound, New Zealand

44. Córdoba, Spain

45. Arctic Gate Park, Alaska, USA

46. ​​Con Dao, Vietnam

47. Northern Kyrgyzstan

48. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

49. Turku, Finland

50. Rawah Wildlife Sanctuary, Colorado, USA

51. Methow Valley, Washington, USA

52. World

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